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Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and…

Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache (vuoden 1996 painos)

– tekijä: Keith H. Basso (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
302464,497 (4.18)7
Explores the connections of place, language, wisdom, and morality among the Western Apache.
Teoksen nimi:Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache
Kirjailijat:Keith H. Basso (Tekijä)
Info:University of New Mexico Press (1996), Edition: 1st, 192 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):

Teoksen tarkat tiedot

Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache (tekijä: Keith H. Basso)

  1. 10
    Storyteller (tekijä: G. R. Grove) (elenchus)
    elenchus: The layered cultural meanings in the Welsh geography due to Roman, Saxon, and Druidic history, brings to mind the sense of place described so well by Basso. Grove's evocation in Storyteller is not as direct as Basso's in Wisdom Sits In Places, but the affinity was strong for me.… (lisätietoja)
  2. 00
    Näkymättömät polut (tekijä: Bruce Chatwin) (elenchus)
    elenchus: A remarkably similar use of story, myth, and nomadism among the Western Apache. Basso's is an accessible scholarly take, but the stories and their use by Apache individuals take center stage. Chatwin's prose is more poetic and less rigorous (he insisted The Songlines was fiction), but highly evocative of story and myth.… (lisätietoja)
  3. 00
    Gods and Heroes in North Wales (tekijä: Michael Senior) (gwernin)
    gwernin: Discusses the connections between modern place names and the places and stories in the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogion.

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näyttää 4/4
Specific to Western Apache, this relatively short book (152 pp.) shows us the way in which the lands of their traditional home nurture proper action and wisdom in those brought up in the traditional way.
Basso has worked with this community for decades, and has won their trust in preserving a portion of their culture in writing. The elders with whom he speaks may be uneducated but they have given a lot of thought about how their culture works, the role of traditional teachings, and seeking inner wisdom.
This book is an excellent combination of dense academic/theoretical introductions (which could be glided over for those non-academics), verbatim interactions between some Western Apache elders, followed by their explanations which bring meaning to what was intended. We get a sense of the distinction between places that might be individually important to a person, such as our own selves, versus the places that have a meaning in a social context, recognized by all in one's culture as having specific meanings and as being currently active in showing us how to act. It has caused me to ponder on places that white Americans have placed meaning to at different points in our history but which have faded in potency over time as we see history as a linear progression: e.g. Plymouth Rock, Alamo, Iwo Jima, and even the Twin Towers is losing its powerful imagery to the younger generations.
In the 1st chapter, Charles takes him by horseback around 20 miles of their community, gives names for dozens of specific locations, and tells the story behind the names. Basso produces a map for the community but does not publish sensitive material.
In the 2nd chapter, a relevant conversation illustrates how place names are used as pointed lessons for community members.
In the 3rd chapter, Basso witnesses a conversation between Apaches which seems to consist solely of naming places between pauses yet they appear to have shared something substantive. He is later able to speak with each of those persons to understand what was going thru their minds when they said what they did. He elicits some Apache values: the basic courtesy of "refraining from 'speaking too much'...[taking] steps to 'open up thinking,' thereby encouraging his or her listeners to 'travel in their minds.'" (p.85) Using "delicacy and tact" in speaking about another's actions, in a manner which allows "ancestral knowledge" to show the way, and which encourages the person "to take remedial action on behalf of themselves." (p.91).
In the 4th chapter, Basso asks Dudley Patterson to explain what he understands of the oft-repeated phrase "wisdom sits in places." First Dudley has to explain how he defines wisdom, and we see an almost zen-like attitude of mind: "You must make your mind smooth. You must make your mind steady. You must make your mind resilient" (p.126) and then he goes on to portray exactly what is mean by these qualities, how they help in life, and how they support each other. Wisdom is the development of "prescient thinking" which is key to survival(p.130-1) and is based on knowledge which can be swiftly recalled--which is why stories based on real places are so effective: they can be immediately pictured (p.124). ( )
1 ääni juniperSun | Apr 14, 2020 |
Honestly this book (or at least excerpts of it) should be required reading for all historians, the end, thank you, good bye. The opening essay ("Quoting the Ancestors") introduces this idea of "place-making" and is really incredible and guys I cannot stress to you how much you should read this just for that, honestly. Basso notes in his introduction that some of the essays overlap in their content, and that is true in some ways--the further you get into the book, the more perhaps it becomes (rightfully so!) about the Western Apache at Cibecue specifically, and so may feel less "universalized" than the opening essay, but I really do think those essays as well are rich with things for historians to consider. ( )
  aijmiller | May 27, 2017 |
This slim book is a very interesting look at how a community of Western Apache people—centered around the village of Cibecue, Arizona—conceive of their relationship with their past, the process of passing on their culture, and how they view the physical world around them. "Wisdom Sits in Places" is more than a catchy title; it is how the Apache themselves think of 'wisdom'. It's something which is gained from a long meditation on the symbolic dimensions of the physical landscape, and on the stories which are linked to particular locations through place names. Indeed, the Apache people see the land around them—their continual contact with it, how they have shaped it and named it, and how they continue to remember those moments of naming—as being a far better means of understanding themselves as a people than an abstract process of placing discrete events into a linear chronological narrative (in other words, the Euro-American historical tradition). Really fascinating reading. ( )
2 ääni siriaeve | Mar 20, 2013 |
“[A]nthropologists have paid scant attention to one of the most basic dimensions of human experience – that close companion of heart and mind, often subdued yet potentially overwhelming, that is known as sense of place.” [106] Keith Basso’s collection of essays addresses this blind spot in a highly imaginative examination of Western Apache philosophy and community. The result is rigorous but most of all, evocative both of civilization generally and the Apache outlook. After multiple readings, Wisdom Sits in Places remains one of my very favourite books, providing beautiful insight and proving fun to read.

Basso’s four essays together propose that the use of stories, storytelling, and a strong sense of place establish the particular genius of the Western Apache. These elements are joined in such a way to conjure a sacred unity (the term is Bateson’s), and Basso’s accomplishment is not only to establish the peculiar Apache sense of the sacred, but to make intelligible how storytellers and even inanimate objects (i.e. features of the landscape) wield agency in this cultural framework.

The opening three essays examine very specific stories and their use in everyday Apache life. The first provides an overview, retelling the author's personal introduction to storytelling by an Apache cowboy. The second and third focus on distinct types of storytelling. "Stalking with Stories" illustrates how individuals are given moral instruction by referring to relevant stories, but in such an indirect way that non-Apache are often left bewildered, wondering how (or even if) anything was said. "Speaking with Names" addresses situations in which moral imagination is used through reference to stories, but concerning individuals not present in the conversation.

The final essay introduces a sketch of the Apache conception of wisdom, linking the concepts and situations raised in the preceding pieces. Wisdom is linked metaphorically to storytelling as a trail followed by the individual through life, running through the landscape described in the various stories sharing the name of the place they occurred. Traveling through this landscape, the person seeking wisdom is urged to "drink from places", with wisdom equated with water as requisite to life. When undertaking this journey, the individual is urged to "work on your mind" to make it smooth, resilient, and steady. These three characteristics of wisdom enable a person to think clearly and unhurriedly in times of threat or urgency, unhampered by what is going on around them or (emotionally) within them, in order to review stories and apply relevant lessons to the matter at hand. In effect, the wise person "forgets" personal needs and brings to bear knowledge from the community to the situation, thereby avoiding calamity to community and self. It is a beautifully concise and elegant outlook, tying together the strands introduced in the first three essays.

Basso never uses the term magick, perhaps advisedly out of concern for his academic career. And his ethnography is solid and orthodox. Nevertheless, the picture which emerges makes clear that from a modern industrialized perspective, the effects Apache storytellers have upon their audience appear fabulist, and sites around the Apache community of Cibecue would seem to be haunted. The remarkable thing is that while these conclusions are true, to a point, the ‘mystery’ is solved not by finding materialist explanations for Apache distortions of reality, but by showing how the modern perspective is here extremely foreshortened and inadequate for understanding reality. The landscape really does reach out to Apache individuals, in a remarkably similar way as do family & neighbours. Indeed it is the modern industrial viewpoint which is distorted when insisting this is impossible.*

Basso is at his best when relaying a story or incident, and then offering up an interpretation of that event which situates the story both in the immediate social interaction as well as in a broader cultural context. The attendant commentary is often dry and academic, but the central storytelling can be read alone to much profit.

* I recognise the irony of a professor, within academia's walls, using a 'modern industrial' mode of argument to establish the limitations of that view; I consider one of reason's primary strengths to be its capacity for recognising and discussing its own limitations. ( )
4 ääni elenchus | Oct 7, 2010 |
näyttää 4/4
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Place is the first of all beings, since everything that exists is in a place and cannot exist without a place.
--Archytas, as cited by Simplicius, "Commentary on Aristotle's Categories"
American Indians hold their lands--places--as having the highest possible meaning, and all their statements are made with this reference point in mind.
--Vine Deloria, Jr., "God is Red"
What we call the landscape is generally considered to be something "out there." But, while some aspects of the landscape are clearly external to both our bodies and our minds, what each of us actually experiences is selected, shaped, and colored by what we know.
--Barrie Greenbie, "Spaces: Dimensions of the Human Landscape"
To know who you are, you have to have a place to come from.
--Carson mcCullers, "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter"
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
For the grandchildren of Cibecue, and Gayle
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Place is the first of all beings, since everything that exists is in a place and cannot exist without a place.
Preface: What do people make of places?
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
"Drink from places," Apache boys and girls are told. "Then you can work on your mind." [134]
Over a period of years, I have become convinced that one of the distinctive characteristics of Western Apache discourse is a predilection for performing a maximum of socially relevant actions with a minimum of linguistic means. [103]
Viimeiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Kirjan kehujat
Alkuteoksen kieli
Canonical DDC/MDS

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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (2)

Explores the connections of place, language, wisdom, and morality among the Western Apache.

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